You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

First Tenn. woman arrested on charges of drug use during pregnancy

In a groundbreaking legal case, a Tennessee mother is the first to be arrested in the state on charges of using drugs during her pregnancy.

MSNBC reports 26-year-old Mallory Loyola was charged under a new state law after both she and her newborn daughter tested positive for methamphetamine. 

​The new law deems narcotics use during pregnancy an assaultive offense, and a maximum prison sentence for the misdemeanor is one year. (Via Tennessee General Assembly)

"Anytime someone is addicted and they can't get off for their own child, their own flesh and blood, it's sad." (Via WATE)

​The Tennessean ​repor​ts the state saw more than 900 drug-dependent babies born in 2013. On average, it costs $62,000 to deliver a drug-dependent baby; whereas, delivery of a healthy baby costs less than $5,000.

The Crossville Chronicle attributes the high costs to the sad and painful process of alleviating the newborn's withdrawal, with symptoms including tremors, seizures, the inability to feed and the inability to self-soothe. 

Many state and national critics say the law will only deter drug-abusing pregnant women from seeking treatment. 

Thomas Castelli, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, released a statement saying, ​"This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges.​" The ACLU plans to challenge the law and encourages others' support. (Via The American Civil Liberties Union)

But Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens disagrees, telling WATE: "Hopefully [this case] will send a signal to other women who are pregnant and have a drug problem to seek help."

Critics, like Castelli, argue the law makes addiction a criminal offense. 

Perhaps more controversial is what some, such as Elaine Lisko of the University of Houston Law Center, see as a push for abortions. She says, "It punishes the woman who decides to continue her pregnancy and motivates the woman who wishes to avoid criminal prosecution to terminate her pregnancy." (Via University of Houston Law Center)

As an alternative to criminalization, 18 states have statutes that promote education and treatment. (Via The Guttmacher Institute)

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation World

Farmer brings livestock to protest inauguration
Farmer brings livestock to protest inauguration

Abbott told BuzzFeed News, "It’s time we get corporate money out of our government, out of our farms, out of our food, out of our families, out of our freedom.”  Abbot said the four-legged crew, Thaddeus, Shay and Tragically Cute, enjoy marching. The dove, named Hubert, spent most of the protest sleeping inside of Abbott's...
VICTIM’S FAMILY: God has a purpose...through this tragedy
VICTIM’S FAMILY: God has a purpose...through this tragedy

The 16-year-old victim in the West Liberty Salem High School shooting is identified as Logan Cole. He remains in critical but stable condition at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus according to hospital officials speaking on behalf of his family.  Logan Cole’s family released a statement late Friday afternoon: “We are thankful...
Trump White House pledges to end ‘dangerous anti-police atmosphere’
Trump White House pledges to end ‘dangerous anti-police atmosphere’

Donald Trump’s administration pledged to end the nation’s “dangerous anti-police atmosphere” and significantly boost the ranks of law enforcement in one of his the White House’s first policy statements after his Friday inauguration. >> Read more trending stories  Pushing back against the Black Lives...
Wright State expects fewer foreign students because of ‘Trump effect’
Wright State expects fewer foreign students because of ‘Trump effect’

Wright State expects to enroll fewer international students in the short term because of what provost Tom Sudkamp referred to in a trustees meeting on Friday as “the Trump effect.” Sudkamp made the comment, which he said is “commonly used” in higher education, just hours after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation&rsquo...
Just another vicious cycle?

Everyone’s favorite topic, red-light cameras, have been been in the news recently, as the Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments about the state ban on them. Here’s what reader Robert L. Lindsey had to say: “Camera’s installed; city gets some money; company gets money for installing them; accident rate goes down (drops 30 to 60...
More Stories